“We literally made you a skeleton of hyperbole, to teach you to dream again.’”

— Keegan Lester, this shouldn’t be beautiful but it was & it was all i had so i drew it


“I had to learn to do stuff only for myself, and stop thinking about pleasing some imaginary client or boss.”

— Wayne White, Beauty is Embarrassing


This pairing is a froth of wild inspiration that will empower, nay demand, you to make your own art. Keegan Lester’s poetry collection paired with Beauty is Embarrassing, a documentary about the life and work of Wayne White (to be like them and put it simply), will wake you up.

This pairing also:

  • Subverts what needs to be subverted yet recognizes truth in some worthy traditions
  • Constructs ghosts where they should have been, using them as personified feelings and representations of deeply carved experiences
  • Emphasizes a sense of home rooted in geography without letting it take over
  • Confesses both deep knowledge and deep lack of knowledge
  • Appreciates humor in the failing that is humanity
  • Teaches us how to squeeze everything out of every second/letter/brushstroke
  • Justifiably mocks the over-serious
  • Highlights fierce family support and loyalty
  • Displays what happens when reacting against something turns into tiny, gorgeous acceptances of how the universe works
  • Stresses art as community
  • Gives you a strong desire to climb inside their mental gears

Unfortunately, pure hypomania without its corresponding depression does not exist as a condition in our world. But this book and documentary will make you feel otherwise, even if just for a while. And they will hand you a license to both create and destroy in the process.  As White says, “Sheer obstinacy is very very important for anybody who wants to create.”